7:15 PM, Priyanka hurriedly made her way over the footbridge and onto the platform as she saw the Virar local approach. She was already tired as she had to complete her week long target and she couldn’t risk not saving herself a seat in the train ahead for the journey back home to Vasai.

The Indian Railways, one of the world’s largest railway networks comprising 115,000 km of track and carries more than 23 million passengers a day. Its operations cover twenty nine states and seven union territories and also provides limited international services to Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Although safety is one of the top most priorities of this government owned enterprise, 2015 has seen a series of incidents and casualties that have resulted in loss of equipment and lives.

WAP-4_Class_locomotive_of_Indian_Railways

Collisions, derailments, level crossing accidents and fire have resulted in the majority of accidents with close to 80% of these accidents being caused due to human failure. The good sign however is that the number of accidents per million kilometers run and number of casualities per million passengers carried has come down in the last few years.

With an expansion strategy inclined towards the implementation of IT in processing, the railways has launched a mobile application, “M-Indicator”, along with a dynamic interface in their website for placing tickets and checking booking status.

IT has become so detrimental towards progress in every sector, that it is crucial to adapt and enforce the latest developments alongside the physical remodeling.

The learning curve of the railways from steam engines, to electricity, fast trains to metros, local to national is inspiring. Infrastructure and construction has received a major transformation thanks to these learnings that today, PowerHouse, a project of Crisp Social Ventures India is focusing on standardization and sustainable homes for the rural poor in India.

Priyanka sat by the window of her 7:20 PM Virar local as she carefully followed the words on page 45 of her book she had just started reading, oblivious of the amount of labour, process and capital that goes into getting that one train out of the platform. There are numerous projects and initiatives that go unnoticed, take out the time to appreciate the good individuals are doing, and find out how you can contribute, visit: www.power-house.in

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